Lyondellbasell is an American chemicals company that was founded in 2007. The company is engaged in every step of the petrochemical value chain, including the refining process and end product uses. Among others, Lyondellbasell is ranked as one of the world’s largest producers of polypropylene compounds and polypropylene, with other production activities including refined products such as biofuels, and the global provision of technology licenses. The company is involved in extensive global manufacturing activities, and is geographically diverse. It spans a vast commercial and technical infrastructure, with products being used in multiple countries. Lyondellbasell’s ‘Amazing Chemistry’ is used at some 55 manufacturing and production locations across 5 continents. The company was formed following Basell Polyolefins purchase of Lyondell Chemical Company. In its earlier form Basell Polyolefins was the recipient of a Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1963, and in its current form is listed on the S&P 500 index.
Lyondellbasell operates with a declassified supervisory board. All board members are grouped together in classes, with each of these classes being elected at successive meetings held by shareholders for a 3-year period of time. In contrast to many other chemical companies, there is no requirement for supervisory board members to retire, and there are no term limits for directors. The supervisory board member setup includes the following: Class I Directors, Class II Directors, and Class III Directors. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company is Jim Gallogly.
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Shareholders appoint a Supervisory Board which acts as the final decision-making authority of Lyondellbasell Industries N.V. The Supervisory Board is also tasked with succession planning vis-a-vis the Chief Executive Officer and other senior managers. The Chairman of the Board is elected on an annual basis by the Supervisory Directors. According to in-house rules, the Supervisory Directors must comply with NYSE independence requirements. The board size is structured in such a way that an efficient number of Supervisory Directors is in place to meet organizational objectives.
Saved from Liquidation by Andreas Heeschen
In 2009, when the company was at serious risk of bankrupcy, German entrepreneur Andreas Heeschen bought a 50% equity share in LyondellBasell. He operates as a strategic investor in a hands-off capacity. Together with Len Blavatnik (Access Industries), Heeschen (ProChemie GmbH) set up a 50/50 partnership to hold the LyondellBasell equity stake. Andreas Heeschen praised the U.S. bankruptcy system, which allowed creditors and management to come to agreement on reducing debt from $24 billion to $5 billion in 2011. His involvement with LyondellBasell has assisted the company’s restructuring efforts following the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing. Since then, cost-reduction initiatives have allowed the chemical giant to reduce fixed costs and return to profitability.
Product Range & Innovations
Lyondellbasell offers a wide variety of everyday products, including: fresh food packaging, automotive parts, construction materials, durable textiles and medical applications. The product range offered by the company is divided up into categories including chemicals, fuels & refining, and polymers. Major chemical products include Benzene, Ethylene, Propylene, Grade (PGI), Propylene Oxide, and Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM). Fuels & refining products include: Ethel Tertiary Butyl Ether, Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel, Jet Fuel, Gasoline and Alkylate. Polymers include Polypropylene, Impact Copolymer, High-Density Polyethylene and Advanced Polyolefins. The product range at Lyondellbasell serves multiple markets on a global scale, including personal care, electronics, industrial, packaging, inks, food & beverage, adhesives & sealants, cleaning products, plastics & rubber and others.
Sustainability & Performance
Lyondellbasell believes in applying good business practices to solving the challenges posed by social and environmental realities. The company is deeply invested in sustainability, with a commitment to green production methods. Among the many challenges that the company develops environmentally friendly products for are energy efficiency, water scarcity and mobility. Environmental initiatives include reducing greenhouse gases and emissions, maximizing energy usage, creating products that save water, decreasing air emissions with increased production, and the conservation and preservation of resources. Based on revenue generation, Lyondellbasell is firmly in the top 5 global chemical companies.